Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On Not Judging Your Own Self

In Matthew 7:1-2 Jesus says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." I can see the truth of this in two ways.

#1 - The judgmental-person-as-faultfinder-and-accuser-of-others will receive their own unfair share of retributive judgment heaped back on them. Waste your time picking out the faults of others, and many of those others will waste their time picking out your faults. The big bang of your judgmental words creates an ever-expanding universe of judges, all skilled at finger-pointing. Surely it's not true that everyone who gets "judged" judges back. But when most feel feel judged the thought comes into their heads, "But you, also, are a failure." One wants to attack back, unlike Christ responded.

#2 - The non-divine judges of all the earth suffer something even greater, which only gets exacerbated by the human judges who lash out at them. Most judgmental people I have met in my life waste a lot of time being critical of their own selves. The people who hate and punish others hate and punish their own selves. These are people who are self-perceived failures. They arrogantly weigh the deeds of other people, measure their hearts, and pronounce their "guilty" verdicts. I have personally found that, when I have felt inwardly inferior, I am more susceptible to judge others. But I've also pointed my big critical guns at my own self. The skilled, cynical critic of others is just as skilled and cynical about their own self. The one who hurts others is themselves a hurting heart. It's the old "hurt people hurt people" thing, which I think is mostly true.

The antidote to this whole wasted mess is to find and experience the love of God for one's own deep self. Be loved by God, not just in theory but in experience, and the result will be things like greater compassion towards others.

Love God.
Receive God's love for your own self.
Stay connected to Jesus and ecperience, in relationship, his love.
Love one another.